All there is to Know about SLOTS
[ez-toc] Slots are the most common online casino game and at first they seem so simple to play: you click on “spin”, the reels go round and round, and when they stop, if you’re lucky, you could win a lot or a little. In short, many slots players could use a little guidance to make their slots games even more fun than they already are – therefore, read further in our Slots Guide to get all the scoop you need to maximize your winnings and fun playing slots.
That’s why we put together this slots guide. Throughout our online slots guide, we’ll use terminology that is unique to slots. These slots terms are generally very easy to learn. Some casinos use strange slots jargon. When you come across such a casino, be sure that you understand their slots terms.
Fun is the Name of the Game
Many players seem to take for granted that slots are fun! The entertainment value of the best slots games is so much a part of the games themselves that many gamers forget that there are thousands of great slots online and that they can enjoy them all!
In order to enhance your slots playing fun, we suggest you try out as many as possible. There are two great ways to do this. First, every casino worth your attention offers unlimited free play. You can’t win when you play for free but you can sample so many slots this way!
Second, instant play is so good these days, with super sophisticated graphics, that you can sign up at many online casinos and play their games either for free or for real money without taxing your hard drive’s capacity with heavy casino downloads.
So the combination of instant play without the need to download and free play means that you can check out a nearly endless supply of slots games and the best slots games for you.
The top slots games are those that keep players entertained throughout a playing session. Most players play on their mobile devices so their individual gaming sessions may be relatively short. When you’re home and can play longer, you want a slot type that suits your style perfectly.
How Many Reels Fit on a Computer Screen?
Let’s divide slots games into their various categories. The first category is the number of reels. There are three reel and primarily five reel slots games. The five reel slots are called video slots. Now, there are some game developers who have begun producing six and even seven reel slots.
Because graphics are so much better now than they were just a few short years ago, you can enjoy slots easily on your mobile screen.
Betting on Paylines is Your Ticket to Winning Slots Games
The next category is the number of paylines. The first slots games for both land and online casinos were three reel games with a single payline. Video slots have far more than one payline. The number of paylines is important especially when we get to money management which is another important aspect of playing slots and all online casino games.
Some slots have 243 “ways to win”. In these games, you bet on all of the ways to win. Now, some games have as many as 1024 ways to win.
So Many Game Developers
The creative geniuses who produce new slots games every month never run out of themes. Within the dozens of themes are many variations on the same basic theme. One developer may have a great pirate-themed game and another provider may create a pirate game with a twist.
Video slots have unique characters that help to develop the story. Slots games generally have twelve symbols. While some still use the royal symbols borrowed from poker, many developers are now developing slots with fully twelve distinct characters.
Each developer has their special style of telling a story through slots games. The slot type that best suits your mood one day may not suit your mood another day. The game providers thus try to develop enough slots to keep you happy with their products every day! That’s another great reason to sample as many slots from as many providers as possible!
Wild and Scatter Symbols
These are standard features of all video slots. The Wild is just as you would expect: it substitutes for all other symbols except the Scatter and in so doing creates a lot of wins.
The Wilds usually have one or more other special features. Some wins with a Wild symbol have a multiplier; your win gets multiplied! Some Wilds are “stacked” on a reel. This means that there is more than one consecutive Wild symbol on a reel. Getting five Wilds on a winning payline is usually the highest paying win in the regular game.
A Regular Game and a Bonus Game
Yes, indeed! The Scatter symbol has a couple of unique features. First, it wins in all positions, not just in winning paylines. Second, sometimes you can win with just two Scatters instead of the usual minimum of three symbols for a win. Third, three or more Scatters send you to the bonus round where winning slots games pay off the most!
The bonus rounds usually feature free spins. The games are set up so you don’t have to click “spin”. The best part of free spins bonus rounds is that you can often win a lot!
Free Spins and Much More
So, there is the regular game with one set of rules and the bonus round with somewhat enhanced rules for winning. How many different ways can you win in a slots bonus round?
- If there is a multiplier in the regular game, it is usually increased in the bonus round.
- Sometimes the Wild symbol is stacked. In some slots, the Wild is stacked on an entire reel in the bonus round.
- Sometimes winning paylines “cascade” down and off the screen. All the remaining symbols move down to fill the empty spaces and then new symbols come down to fill in the last empty spaces. You can go on and on from a single free spin if the new arrangement of symbols produces another win!
- In some games, the Wild symbols stay in position so that as your free spins progress, you have ever better chances of scoring a big win!
- If your luck is running wild, you’ll get three or more Scatters during the bonus round. In many games, this will retrigger the free spins!
One of the most fascinating aspects of free spins rounds is when you have to decide between more free spins for a smaller multiplier or fewer free spins for a bigger multiplier. Online forums discuss this decision often and each side has its passionate advocates. We say that slots are fun, so play once for more free spins and play another time for a higher multiplier!
How Can I Choose a Casino?
This question is not unique to slots; it is one of the most important elements in online casino play.
We state again and again that you should play at a casino that is fully regulated, certified, and audited. There are many jurisdictions that regulate online casinos. We would venture to say that you should never play at a casino that is not regulated by a recognized authority.
Certification and auditing come from independent bodies. They certify that the casino follows fair banking procedures, that the casino’s withdrawal rules are fair, that the games are run fairly with industry standard return to player rates, and that the Random Number Generator or RNG is in good working order.
Banking and Slots
Many casinos offer free spins as part of their welcome package to new players. Sometimes they offer so many free spins that the offer is hard to resist. Here is one area where certification comes into play.
Before jumping for a great welcome offer, check the casino’s withdrawal rules. Some casinos allow players to withdraw such a low amount per week that it makes it not worthwhile playing there at all.
Imagine this scenario: you’ve been lucky enough to win big on a progressive slot where the winnings are huge – $1,000,000 and more. The casino limits your withdrawal amounts to just a bit each week or month. Bad news – you’ve got tons of winnings which, for all intents and purposes, you can’t withdraw.
We stated at the outset that slots are fun and they are. But banking makes slots a business, too. For players that means performing due diligence: checking out a casino through independents sources before you send them your money!
All financial transactions must be safe at all times. To ensure safety, casinos use top SSL encryption software. Beware and flee from any casino that does not use encryption software to protect your money!
The casino can set the payout rate for any game. This rate is general; the RNG makes it possible for the rate to be slightly higher or slightly lower over time. If the RNG is working properly, the casino cannot affect the outcome of any spin. This is another form of protection for gamers.
Another very significant aspect of the RNG is that no betting system works for slots. Some entrepreneurs try to sell players on winning slots games systems. None of these systems works! That’s because the RNG determines the outcome of every spin.
Having said that there are no betting systems that work, we have to segue to betting practices that may help you win at slots.
- Always bet on all paylines.
- Always bet the maximum.
These two points require some explanation. We are all familiar with the basic slots jargon such as bet, Wild, Scatter, free spin, bonus, and many others already covered here. There are two terms that confuse gamers: bet size and number of coins.
If you want to play a slot with twenty paylines and the lowest bet size is one cent and you can bet up to ten coins, then the actual maximum bet on each payline is ten cents. In order to bet the maximum on all twenty paylines, you have to bet $2.00 on each spin.
Money Management and Slots Play
Any reputable online slots guide will discuss game play and money management. We began in the previous paragraph by differentiating between minimum coin size and the maximum number of coins that you can bet on a payline.
We always encourage players to stay within their budget. There are so many excellent and fun slots games out there that if a game requires you to bet more than you’re comfortable betting, go to a different game. Keep in mind that the more paylines there are the higher the maximum bet will be to cover all the paylines.
Staying within your budget is relevant when it comes to the big jackpots in any slots game. The biggest jackpot in a non-progressive game is for five Wild symbols. You have to bet the maximum bet to win this jackpot. As much as we would all like to play for the biggest jackpot, some gamers’ budgets are better suited for games with fewer paylines, a smaller maximum bet, or smaller jackpots. Remember, for each individual player, the top slots games will provide endless entertainment and will also stay affordable.
The same holds for playing for progressive jackpots. In some progressive slots, the top jackpot is worth a million dollars or more. In order to win the top jackpot you have to bet the max. If such a sizable bet is beyond your comfort zone, it is best to play less volatile slots. We would not say outright to avoid progressive jackpots but the budget for playing them ought to be a side budget of your overall gaming bankroll.
Slots For All
There are so many excellent slots with great graphics, animation, sound, and 3D imaging that you really should sample as many as possible. We hope that this slots guide has helped you make your slots play better than ever!